Making water more sustainable

Water is a precious and vital resource that is under threat from climate change and growing demands.

The Environment Agency recently warned that England will face water shortages within 25 years if we do not take a more sustainable approach to water use.

To help, Durham’s researchers are working with government, businesses and communities to ensure society’s water use remains sustainable for years to come.

The Water Hub, a project of our Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, is a partnership with Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water.

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Water Hub is helping businesses and the public sector to find practical solutions to problems facing North East England’s water and environment sector.

Water sustainability

It’s hoped that these solutions could have wider impacts on water sustainability nationally and internationally.

Water Hub projects include:

  • Transferring skills from digital and data businesses into environmental management to better manage river basins and share information with communities;
  • Helping businesses to put forward ideas to manage water at the site of a new industrial and logistics centre called Follingsby Max, near Gateshead;
  • Installing specially adapted planters to capture rainwater run-off from the roofs of homes in County Durham to reduce flooding risk and encourage plants to grow in urban areas.

The Water Hub supports this work by providing opportunities for small businesses to apply their novel solutions, share technical ideas between sectors and grow practical applications to support water sustainability.

The Hub also offers small grants to help businesses bring their ideas to reality and test them in the market place.

Green economy

It also hosts events bringing together people from different sectors to share ideas about water sustainability and innovation.

In 2019 The Water Hub will be taking part in the UK Government’s Year of Green Action by bringing together businesses, communities, charities and health organisations to share ideas about growing a green economy and resilient neighbourhoods.

European Regional Development Fund